A short while ago Donald sent us a set of four pics of his bike without much info. It wasn’t quite enough for a proper feature but it was a lovely bike, so we tweaked the photos a bit and bunged them up on Facebook – and the likes and shares went ballistic, so we had to go back for more, and get enough info to make a proper story.
Donald is from South Australia and this stunning CB900F is his third completed cafe racer having cut his teeth on a CB500/4 and a CB550/4 previously. He gets his kicks from bringing old bikes back from the dead, and giving them a breathtaking face lift while he’s at it.
Like most of us, he’s a one man band, but has a network of people to help him when the going gets tough. This ’82 CB900F was picked up as a neglected non runner for $600. After some basic home servicing she fired up nicely, but it took a lot more than that to make her look the super model she does today.
There’s not a whole lot of ‘stock’ CB900 left now, and what there is has been painted or polished to perfection. The forks have been lowered and clip-ons have been clipped on. A GPS speedo sits low but proud on top of the headlight, the custom made exhaust has been heat wrapped and new, minimal controls have gone on. What else? The battery has been relocated under the swing arm (hopefully it doesn’t rain as much there as it does here!) the electrics have been hidden under the seat hump, discs have been drilled, engine covers polished and wheels painted. Oh yes, and not forgetting the stunning custom made tank and seat units.
Of course, one of the most eye catching and controversial things on this build is the Ducatihonda badge. The purists cry ‘why?’ the more open minded say ‘why not?’ It certainly looks cool, so who gives a monkey’s!
Donald admits mistakes were made along the way, but nothing major, just the odd rushed purchase resulting in a part that doesn’t quite fit. But they were mostly avoided by having a very clear vision from the start of the project, right through to the finish. He also believes you have to know when to stop – to be honest about what the bike will be used for, and, what the budget is. Do you really need upside down forks? Is a box style swing arm really necessary?
Donald’s next project is a 1982 Honda CB750F2. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do with it yet, but seeing as his CB550K won Bike of the Year on the SOHC4 website, and this bike has won two out of three first places in other competitions, it has a lot to live up to. Thanks for wheeling her into The Shed, Donald.
If you want to ask Donald anything about this build, just send him an email.